Late Spring in Stowe, Vermont

Spring unfolds more slowly in northern Vermont than it does where I live in the mid-Atlantic.  So we were able to catch some late spring action in the Stowe area recently.  The show started in the gardens at Trapp Family Lodge, where an Eastern Chipmunk foraged among the Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) and Wild Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia),

Eastern Chipmunk with Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) and Wild Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia)

Eastern Chipmunk with Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) and Wild Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia)

while a Groundhog family watched nearby.

Groundhog family in the garden at Trapps

Groundhog family in the garden at Trapps

The woods at Trapps and the other natural areas we visited were lush with ferns, with a bounty of other diverse plants peaking through them.

The woods from Fox Track trail at the Trapp Family Lodge

The woods from Fox Track trail at the Trapp Family Lodge

Narrow Beech Fern (Phegopteris hexagonoptera) with Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia) and Hooked Crowfoot (Ranuunculus recurvatus)

Narrow Beech Fern (Phegopteris hexagonoptera) with Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia) and Hooked Crowfoot (Ranuunculus recurvatus)

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) at Wiessner Woods

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) at Wiessner Woods

Pink Lady’s Slippers (Cypripedium acaule) shyly raised their heads for our viewing pleasure.

Pink Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium acaule)

Pink Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium acaule)

Pink Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium acaule)

Pink Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium acaule)

Goldthread (Coptis trifolia) had finished blooming, and was setting fruit.

Goldthread (Coptis trifolia) with Canada Mayflower (Maianthemum canadense) leaves

Goldthread (Coptis trifolia) with Canada Mayflower (Maianthemum canadense) leaves

Canada Mayflower (Maianthemum canadense) shown in the sun’s spotlight,

Canada Mayflower (Maianthemum canadense)

Canada Mayflower (Maianthemum canadense)

while the delicate blossoms of False Solomon’s Seal (Maianthemum racemosum) lit the trails.

False Solomon’s Seal (Maianthemum racemosum)

False Solomon’s Seal (Maianthemum racemosum)

A White-tailed Deer was unfazed by our visit to her domain.

White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer

Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia) was in various stages of its bloom cycle in different locations. We often found it close to water.

Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)

Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)

In the woods, most of the potential pollinators were flies of various species.  In the photo below, the fly on the Foamflower is harvesting pollen, a food source for some fly species.

Fly harvesting pollen from Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)

Fly harvesting pollen from Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)

Bluebead Lily (Clintonia borealis) was just beginning to bloom, often visited by the fly shown here.

Bluebead Lily (Clintonia borealis)

Bluebead Lily (Clintonia borealis)

 

Bluebead Lily (Clintonia borealis) with flower visitor

Bluebead Lily (Clintonia borealis) with flower visitor

A Robber Fly, better know for its diet of other insects than for drinking nectar, visited Dwarf Ginseng (Panax trifolius) flowers.

Dwarf Ginseng (Panax trifolius) with Robber Fly

Dwarf Ginseng (Panax trifolius) with Robber Fly

Dwarf Ginseng was popular with another fly visitor who unknowingly gathered pollen on its hairy body for possible dispersal to other flowers.

Dwarf Ginseng (Panax trifolius) with potential pollinator

Dwarf Ginseng (Panax trifolius) with potential pollinator

Near Stevenson Brook in Little River State Park,

Stevenson Brook at Little River State Park

Stevenson Brook at Little River State Park

Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophylum virginianum) bloomed a deep violet, pictured here with a flower visitor coming in for a landing.

Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophylum virginianum)

Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophylum virginianum)

Southern Pygmy Clubtail dragonflies rested on a fern at Sterling Falls Gorge.

Southern Pygmy Clubtail dragonflies

Southern Pygmy Clubtail dragonflies

Sterling Falls Gorge

Sterling Falls Gorge

Bluets (Houstonia caerulea) brightened  a meadow at Trapps, the yellow nectar guides at their throats attracting a variety of visitors, incuding Bumble Bees, Eight-spotted Forester moths, Bee Flies and a Mustard White butterfly.

Bluets (Houstonia caerulea)

Bluets (Houstonia caerulea)

Bluets (Houstonia caerulea) with Bumble Bee

Bluets (Houstonia caerulea) with Bumble Bee

Bluets (Houstonia caerulea) with Bee Fly (Bombylius major)

Bluets (Houstonia caerulea) with Bee Fly (Bombylius major)

 

Bluets (Houstonia caerulea) with Mustard White butterfly

Bluets (Houstonia caerulea) with Mustard White butterfly

The Mustard White was a new butterfly for me.  Its numbers have diminished in recent years because of habitat loss, and possibly also due to the increase of the invasive Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata).  Mustard White caterpillars rely for food on our native mustards, such as Toothwort (Cardamine diphylla) and Cut-leaved Toothwort (Cardamine concatenata).  Toothwort is present along the trails near the clearing where we saw the Mustard White, and Garlic Mustard was nowhere to be seen.

Back in the woods, two crane flies mated, doing their part to ensure that the show will continue.

Crane Flies mating

Crane Flies mating

 

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Cut-leaved Toothwort 

15 thoughts on “Late Spring in Stowe, Vermont

  1. Mama groundhog and babies would make great characters in a children’s book! You sure did capture some personality in that photo.

  2. Hi Mary Anne, thanks for the travel photos. They are as good as being there! I am going to look at my groundhog visitors with new eyes. I am so grateful for your work! Patricia Merkel

  3. Pingback: A Tale of Two Spring Beauties | The Natural Web

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